Bharti Airtel now fourth largest cellco

Bharti Airtel now fourth largest cellco

Dylan Bushell-Embling  |   October 22, 2012
Bharti Airtel moved up a rung in the second quarter to become the fourth largest mobile operator group in the world by subscribers, new research shows.
A top 20 ranking by Wireless Intelligence shows that Bharti Airtel was also the fastest-growing mobile operator in the top five during the quarter - and the fourth fastest in the top 10 – with a 13% year-on-year increase in connections.
But first-ranked China Mobile wasn't far behind in terms of growth, recording an 11% year-on-year gain in subscribers. The Chinese incumbent ended the quarter with over 683 million mobile connections.
It isn't even a close race, with number two Vodafone having 386.9 million customers across its operating subsidiaries by the end of Q2, followed by America Movil at 251.9 million. China Mobile cemented its lead during the quarter.
China Mobile is also the largest mobile operator by mobile revenue, taking in over $22 billion in the second quarter. By contrast, Bharti Airtel earned just $3.04 billion, reflecting its presence in a low-cost, high-competition telecom market.
Chinese and Indian operators riddle the rest of the top 20 by mobile subscribers list, underlining the sheer size of the two telecom markets.
China Unicom ranked sixth with 219.2 million customers and 21% growth, India's Reliance Communications came in eighth with 154.6 million, and China Telecom was tenth with 144.2 million. Both China Telecom and China Unicom climbed in the rankings during the second quarter.


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